My Hangar 9 Ultra Stick 60
On Friday, February 26, 2010 I went to Tangerine Field to fly my Ultra Stick 60. As always, there was a pretty stiff crosswind. I asked one of the other guys that has been flying there for awhile if the wind ever blows straight down the runway. He told me it is almost always a crosswind. That really is no big deal if you know how to "fly the rudder". It is a little harder with an airplane like the Ultra Stick 60 though. Due to it's light weight, the wind really blows it around. A heavier airplane will handle the wind much better.
I have never had an airplane that was light enough to do what we call 3D flying. This Ultra Stick seemed promising to do some 3D maneuvers but I hadn't had a chance to try any yet. I've done 3D maneuvers on the flight simulator. 3D flying is pretty incredible. One of the things pilots of radio controlled airplanes can do in 3D is to "hover" their airplane. It is just like how a helicopter hovers. While the airplane is flying, the pilot will slow the airplane and keep putting the nose up until the airplane is vertical. Using the throttle, he will "hang" the airplane on the propeller. It is quite exciting to see it. It is not an easy maneuver to do though. The airplane is NOT stable when you are doing this and you have your hands full to keep the airplane vertical. The engine's torque will actually turn the airplane in what is called a "torque roll". Another maneuver is a "Harrier". In the Harrier, the airplane is flown very, very slowly keeping the nose high and the power up on the engine to keep airflow over the wings. Again, this is another impressive maneuver.
It is recommended to use a .61 to a .90 cubic inch 2 cycle engine on the Ultra Stick 60. I originally put my Fox .74 on the plane. Fox's engines are incredibly powerful. I could not get the engine to run for any length of time however. The engine acted like it was having trouble getting fuel so I took the fuel tank out and replaced all of the tubing in and out of the tank. That still didn't do any good. Obviously there is something wrong with the carburetor on the Fox. I have ordered a new one and will put that engine on my new design that I am calling the JayMc Extreme Kaos. I had originally planned on putting my O.S. .61 engine in the Extreme Kaos but decided to go ahead and put it on the Ultra Stick. I have always used, at least, the largest recommended engine size on any RC plane I've flown. You can always cut your throttle back if you have too much power but you cannot add power that an engine does not have. With the .61, I wasn't sure if there would be enough power to "hover" the Ultra Stick.
I got to the field and did a quick charge on my batteries, fueled the plane up and took off. I flew around for awhile to acquaint myself better with the flying characteristics of this plane. This was only probably my seventh flight. With a lot of altitude, then, I slowed the airplane and pitched the nose vertically. I begin to add power as it was needed and the airplane hovered!!! I was really excited. With the elevator and ailerons on high rate it hovered nicely but the wind kept blowing the airplane east! I hovered the airplane a few times and then did a Harrier with the flaps down and the ailerons in the "crow" position. This airplane is a blast to fly!
One of the things that the manufacturer of this plane says you can do is to make a vertical dive with the wing in the "crow" position and then land in just a few feet. I gained a lot of altitude and put the wing in the crow position and pointed the nose straight down. It is amazing how the flaps and ailerons, deflected to their full extents, will keep the airplane from gaining excessive speed in a dive. They act just like dive brakes.
So far, every time I've flown the plane, I've discovered something new that it will do. This is a FUN airplane!